Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/07/11 at 03:59 PM ET
Today’s transcripts of Q&As with Michael Ryder, Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell and Andrew Ference.
Q. The suspension for Rome’s four games, does that surprise you? Do you think that’s just?
MICHAEL RYDER: Well, it was a League decision that came out just then. I guess we heard the same time you guys did. It’s their decision, and that’s it.
Q. Are you satisfied?
MICHAEL RYDER: Well, you know, Horty is a big part of our team. He’s been huge for us all season in the playoffs. We’re definitely going to miss him.
It’s not my call how many games Rome gets or whatever. The league just decided that four was it. Everybody is going to have to deal with that.
Q. Do you think that hit may have woken a sleeping giant in you guys?
MICHAEL RYDER: Well, we wanted to make sure we went out there and won the game for Horty, you know. We knew that guys have to step it up. He’s a big loss for us. He’s one of the reasons why we’re here. We wanted to make sure we played hard for him and win the game and show him that we have his back.
Q. (Question regarding the message sent by the team.)
MICHAEL RYDER: We didn’t want to go down 3-0. It was a huge game for us to get back in the series. We have to make sure tomorrow we go at it the same way and play it the same.
Q. Can you tell me about the significance of the jacket hanging in Horton’s stall?
MICHAEL RYDER: Well, he’s the one that had the jacket before and he wasn’t there to give it out. We just let him keep it there, you know. It wasn’t right for someone else to give it out when he had it the last time.
We all talked about it, so it was everybody.
Q. Do you know if Aaron Rome reached out to Horty at all?
MICHAEL RYDER: No, I have no idea.
Q. (Question about playing in Horton’s place in the line-up.)
MICHAEL RYDER: I’m not sure what is going to happen. I played with Krejci before and with Lucic on and off at times.
Yeah, I feel comfortable there. I’m not sure what Claude has planned. But if I get put in that position, I’ll have to step it up and make sure I help those guys out as much as I can.
I’m not Nathan Horton, but I can try to do what I can out there.
Q. How did you find the ice last night?
MICHAEL RYDER: It wasn’t bad. It was chippy at times. It gets hot in the arena. I think tomorrow is supposed to be really hot, too. So both teams have to play with it. You just got to make sure you make smart decisions with the puck and keep things simple.
Like I said, both teams have to play with it, so you’re going to get weird bounces sometimes, pucks hopping over sticks. You have to make sure you stay strong and make smart plays.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Chris Kelly.
Q. Question about Rome’s suspension.
CHRIS KELLY: It was their decision for the four games. I think they’re trying to take that kind of hit out of the game. Four games being the rest of the playoffs for him, so I’m sure that had something to do with their decision.
Q. They’re losing a sixth defenseman and you’re losing a top-line player.
CHRIS KELLY: Like I said, Nathan has been huge for us. He’s a big part of the reason we’re here. He’s a tough guy to replace.
Q. When you see that kind of suspension, does that make you think twice about delivering a hit? You play a physical game.
CHRIS KELLY: Yeah, but like I said before, common sense, knowing when someone is in a vulnerable spot, comes into play. You never want to see anyone on the ice like that, regardless if it’s your team or the other team.
It’s part of the game obviously that the League wants to take out.
Q. Does the punishment fit the crime or can it?
CHRIS KELLY: As a player, we’re not in that situation to make those calls. Obviously, we put people in place to make that kind of decision. Four games they thought was enough.
Q. Have you talked to Horty?
CHRIS KELLY: I haven’t. I know a few guys have. I guess he’s doing better today, but still you never, ever want to see a guy hurt.
Q. When Luongo gets rattled, is that something you can take advantage of, and maybe that could carry over into the next game?
CHRIS KELLY: I hope so. Obviously he’s an elite goalie for a reason. We didn’t get as many great scoring opportunities as we would have liked in the first two games out in Vancouver. Obviously it was nice to put as many as we did past him last game.
Q. Explain the success on the PK for you. We thought that was a big advantage they would have in the series.
CHRIS KELLY: No, I think we’re playing as a unit out there. We’re hopefully taking away their time and space, obviously not giving them too many great opportunities.
But at the end of the day, that’s our job as penalty killers, is to go out there and kill that penalty off.
Q. Is there momentum on something like that on special teams as confidence builds?
CHRIS KELLY: I think so. That can go both ways. There’s been times that our power-play has gone out, had four or five shots in the two minutes, hasn’t gone in. But it’s given us momentum for shifts after that.
It goes the other way with killing a penalty. If you go out there and do a great job, don’t give them momentum, it goes the other way.
Q. How much of a motivator was the hit on Horton from last night?
CHRIS KELLY: I said it before. I don’t know if it was a motivator. You never want to see a player on the ice. I think we did a good job of rallying and realizing that the ultimate goal was to win the game, kind of put emotions aside. I think when guys got an opportunity to play a bit more, they stepped up and did a great job.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Milan Lucic.
Q. (Question on Rome’s suspension.)
MILAN LUCIC: It’s the League’s decision. They have a hard job definitely with these kinds of things. Like you said, regardless, it doesn’t bring Nathan back. He’s been one of - if not our best - forwards throughout the playoffs. It’s a big loss for us, but it’s an opportunity for someone now to step up. We need someone now to step up.
Like I said, Nathan has been one of our best players. We still have to go out there and focus on what we need to do in order to have some success.
Q. Can that be a rallying call?
MILAN LUCIC: You know, you definitely want to win for a guy like that. He’s done so much for our team this year, getting us to this point. You can use it as motivation if you want, for sure.
Especially for myself, he’s made a big impact in my life as a good friend and as a line mate. You can definitely use that as a motivation.
Q. Do you have to watch yourself to play inside yourself, try not to do too much?
MILAN LUCIC: Yeah, you know, this isn’t the time of year where you’re trying to go out and get reparations or get back at someone for something like that. The best revenge is beating them on the scoreboard. That’s the way we have to look at it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Shawn Thornton.
Q. Question about Rome’s suspension.
SHAWN THORNTON: It was the League’s decision. We’ll go with it. Losing a player like Horty is a big loss. He’s been unbelievable for us. A lot of key goals. He’s an unbelievable teammate.
It’s not going to be easy, but guys are going to have to step up and do more now, everybody in the lineup, and everybody that has been playing is going to have to step up.
Q. Question about team’s success last night.
SHAWN THORNTON: Everyone came together and did a little bit more. I think you need that this time of year whether you’re healthy or somebody’s down. I think the guys did a pretty good job.
Q. Is that one of the main reasons you are where you are?
SHAWN THORNTON: I mean, it’s part of the reason. We’ve been through a lot of stuff in the four years I’ve been here. Been a pretty resilient team. I think experience helped a little bit, too.
Q. When did you know you were going in?
SHAWN THORNTON: I mean, every kid wants to play in the Stanley Cup Final. I found out just before warmup.
Q. Do you think the series is going to continue to have this nasty edge?
SHAWN THORNTON: It should. It’s the Final. Both teams want that trophy. Everyone’s going to do whatever they can to try and make that goal a reality. That includes playing physical, I’m sure.
Q. Question about if anything from Game 3 will continue into Game 4.
SHAWN THORNTON: Yeah, no, we’re focused on Game 4 now. All this other stuff, we turned the page on it. We have to have at least the same effort, if not better, for Game 4 because we know they’re going to be better. We’d like to go up there 2-2 instead of 3-1, that’s for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Patrice Bergeron.
Q. Question about Horton.
PATRICE BERGERON: His health is really important. I sent him a text message. I’m not expecting a response. I want him to do better, get better. We’re all thinking about him.
Q. Four games for Rome. He’s not going to play in the Final. Them losing him, you losing Horton, not the same effect.
PATRICE BERGERON: Obviously Horton is a huge part of our team. That being said, we’ve got to, as a team, do a job, step up. It’s about not just one guy, it’s about everyone making sure we’re doing our job. You can’t replace Horts.
Q. Do you feel like you have the momentum right now?
PATRICE BERGERON: You know, it’s only one game. We feel good about the way we played last night. That’s how we got to play.
Q. Do you believe four games in the Stanley Cup Final is a significant penalty?
PATRICE BERGERON: Well, I think it’s significant. He’s not going to come back. He’s done for the Final. Losing Horts, you know, you can’t replace him.
Q. You talk about taking it one game at a time. Do you feel like it’s that approach that really helped you guys?
PATRICE BERGERON: Yeah. That’s the approach we’ve had all playoffs, you know. Win, put it behind you. If you lose, put it behind you. It’s the same thing. It’s all about the next game in the playoff series. You got to win four games. It’s never over.
Q. You talk about heading into this series about the power-play. They haven’t scored at the rate that they used to in the power-play. What have you been doing to contain them?
PATRICE BERGERON: Yeah, I don’t know. I think we’re trying not to give them too much time. Obviously, their players are going to make plays if they have time. That’s the biggest thing we’ve tried to do.
We have to stay disciplined. They’re a good team with a good power-play. We have to stay out of the box.
Q. Do you think you’ve gotten into Luongo’s head a little bit?
PATRICE BERGERON: I don’t know. He’s a great goalie. I had him at the Olympics. He was great. Obviously we have to have the same approach as putting pucks on net and testing him next game. I expect him obviously to have a good game again.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Gregory Campbell.
Q. Question about special teams.
GREGORY CAMPBELL: We were forcing turnovers, moving our feet, challenging the D. Every time they have a power-play, we have to respect it. They have extremely good players.
We did a good job last night, but that’s only one game.
As a penalty kill, we’ve been working hard. As a power-play unit, I think it’s more of trying to go out there and score. Penalty kill you have to respect the power-play a little bit more because they’re trying to make plays.
We were aggressive last night, but I don’t think we were aggressive in a way that was dangerous, that allowed them chances from our aggressiveness. I think we have to stick with that, but also realize that they have the capability of switching things up. They had a lot of options on that.
Q. Follow up question about special teams.
GREGORY CAMPBELL: You have to be smart at reading things. You have to have good angles. I think as a penalty kill unit, it’s okay to take chances. We did a good job of using our speed to get turnovers.
Killing penalties is a funny thing. Sometimes you can be doing everything right as far as a game plan and goals are still scored. There was a goal the other night that Burrows scored, broken play, found its way in.
I think we’ve been working hard the entire playoffs. Big challenges. This is another challenge. Scoring two shorthanded goals will get you noticed.
Q. Are you sensitive at all about the job that Mike and your dad have had?
GREGORY CAMPBELL: Absolutely. It’s not an easy job. You’re dealing with injuries sometimes and you’re also dealing with taking a player out of a series that they’ve worked their whole lives to get to that point. It’s a no-win job.
I try to separate myself from that because it’s not really my place and it’s not my job. I dealt with it in my career because that’s the nature of it, it’s my dad. But having been up front and seeing some of the decisions he has to make, yeah, it’s not an easy job, but that’s the job they take.
Q. Seems to me there’s a fine line between what is entertainment, what is good hockey, what is cheap.
GREGORY CAMPBELL: Yeah. It’s such a fast game now, not to say there weren’t injuries dating back. I think now the awareness of the injuries is what has brought the attention on these hits. It’s such a fast game now, things happen quickly, players are so strong.
It’s unfortunate that the game has to deal with this. Kind of taken on a life of its own. It’s tough to try to make everybody happy. It’s almost impossible.
But I think the players are doing a good job, and that’s important.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andrew Ference.
Q. (Question regarding the physicality.)
ANDREW FERENCE: Well, looking at what our sport is all about, finding that line, playing hard. We’re allowed to be physical. That’s part of the fabric of our sport.
Even though we have taken some of those hits as a team, we understand as well as anybody that it is a very fine line. A hit like that doesn’t mean the guy is a bad guy or anything. They are split-second decisions. But they’re split-second decisions that obviously can affect lives, as we’ve seen.
You always have to remain physical, remain aggressive, play within the confines of the game. I think players, the best word is to understand the responsibility that you have of staying on the right side of the line.
Q. Talk about the carryover that you’re going to have to have from Game 3 to Game 4?
ANDREW FERENCE: I think a lot of our success has been to eliminate carryover, positively or negatively, to turn the page, in a big picture, game to game; small picture, period to period. It’s a clean slate.
But they have a 2-1 lead. We know we have to do our job at home to stay in the series. It’s important for us to just go at it.
Q. We’ve been talking about the respect factor for so many years. Yet the hits happen a lot. What do you have to say about that? Do you have to come to the conclusion they’re going to happen and you can’t eliminate them?
ANDREW FERENCE: Well, yeah, to a certain extent. I think injuries will happen for sure. These hits probably will happen. It’s minimizing them. Even because those hits happen sometimes, you can’t just sit there and say it’s disrespectful, or the guy is a bad guy or anything like that. A single hit doesn’t determine that.
It’s not a cop-out when guys say “It’s a fast game” because it is. Decisions happen quickly. The consequences are pretty severe, not the suspension consequences but the injury consequences.
Like I said, there’s a lot of trust you put into your opponents that you’re facing as well. There’s a trust between teams that you have to not put yourselves in that situation.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: andrew+ference, chris+kelly, gregory+campbell, michael+ryder, milan+lucic, patrice+bergeron, shawn+thornton
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